'Iolanthe' premiered on November 25, 1882 simultaneously at the Savoy Theater in London and the Standard Theater, New York. The wit of Gilbert's dialogue and sparkle of his lyrics is matched only by the energy of Sullivan's setting, imbued with his sense of both Mendelssohnian grace and Victorian popular song. In two acts, 'Iolanthe' presents the convergence of the world of Fairies with that of Humans when Strephon interacts with members of Parliament. It focuses on contemporary issues by drawing comparisons between the worlds - both Peers and Peris (the Fairy Kingdom) live 'on credit' and are indebted to others for their existence, since Peris owe their life on Earth to ancient myths, while Peers are in a position of financial privilege because of ancient laws.
This is is the Schirmer edition of the Vocal Score, edited by Bryceson Treharne and contains all the dialogue plus a synposis.